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VOL. 17 NO. 9

Resolutions To Help You Save To Help You Save

P8-9 P8-9

Twas the day after Thanksgiving of twenty sixteen When I pondered what a great year that we had seen When I worked at remembering all things that did matter I saw I could only put on paper a smatter We said goodbye to Dick Richter from District Two with a groan Only to be replaced by a new director named Chuck Sloan Our employees never let safety be far from their mind No major injuries helped all sleep sounder as humankind We were blessed with decent weather few outages to be found The fruits of our maintenance crews helped keep outages down All employees and directors met in August a strategic plan to freshen We all had the chance to give our impression Employee development, solar and rates Our future goals and mission were on our plates Increasing rates never make Directors and employees cheer Our base charge we raised again this year Then another surprise arose at Basin in July A ten percent increase needed the next few years in order to get by We sweated and toiled but instituted a 6 mill power cost adjust West River has to be mindful of our financials so we don’t go bust Our appreciation days came in September and wow what a crowd Hamburgers and hot dogs with only one registration gift allowed October’s annual meeting for another year did descend We said adios to Bill Bielmaier a director and friend Giving another a chance to experience what it takes to make the meters spin Three candidates ran, Terry Peters did win Kainz and crew toiled hard with the new line at Plainview Hope for more dependable power up north when the wind really blew The graders and earth movers worked at the new Box Elder Substation A new sub in 2018 Radar Hill Road the location A surprise in October with a fire near Cottonwood Damaging and replacing about 40 poles that became firewood Our thoughts however were more with the land owners and firemen As they battled a blaze hopefully never to be seen again Sales this last winter and fall show quite a decline But the nice weather yields member smiles so we really don’t whine We hope this Christmas season finds you and your family in great cheer And the reason for the season you hold in your heart dear A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year we exclaim And that 2017 happiness and good cheer will be something you too can proclaim. 4744900

2 Ja nuar y 2 0 1 7 • cooperative connections

Employee Biographies Cody Bernstein - 1 Year I grew up on a ranch outside of Faith, South Dakota. I attended school at Faith where I participated in Basketball, Football and Rodeo. After graduation in 2013 I worked on a ranch for a year before going on to Mitchell Vocational Technical School for Power Line Construction and Maintenance. Upon graduation in May of 2015, I worked as a summer intern for West River Electric in the Rapid City office. An opening came available in November 2015 in the Enning area, which seemed like a good fit for me as it is closer to home. I like the opportunity to be closer to family and friends. I enjoy the opportunity to help the member at the end of the line and in my spare time I enjoy hunting, fishing and participating in rodeo.

Alex Preszler - 1 Year I grew up in Valley City, North Dakota and attended school there. After graduation from high school in 2007 I joined the Marines, where for the next 4 years I shot artillery, was deployed to Iraq, made some great friends and amazing memories. I grew up with a military dad who was has been my biggest influence. I then attended NDSU to become a history teacher, but soon decided being in the classroom wasn’t for me so chose to attend Bismarck State for the Lineman Program. After graduating in 2014 I was hired by MDU in the Sheridan Wyoming area and transferred to Watford City, ND. I began work for West River Electric on January 4, 2016 and love the opportunities that have been presented to me. I love being outdoors and enjoy building a rep ore with the local members. In my spare time I enjoy long range hunting as well as Elk hunting in Montana. cooperative connections • J a n ua r y 2017 3



Carbon Monoxide Alarm Safety Tips

Kidsʼ Corner Safety Poster “Always use water on your fire.”

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is created when common fuels such as natural gas, oil, wood or coal burn incompletely. This odorless, colorless, tasteless gas is often called the “silent killer” because it is virtually undetectable without the use of detection technology like a CO alarm.

Installation Tips: • Install CO alarms on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area. • Interconnected CO alarms provide the best protection. When one sounds, they all sound. • CO alarms are not a substitute for smoke alarms. Install both types of alarms in your home. • Purchase CO alarms from a reputable retailer that you trust. • Choose alarms that bear the label of a nationally recognized testing laboratory. • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding proper placement and installation height. Maintenance Tips: • Test CO alarms at least once a month by pressing the TEST button. • CO alarm batteries should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately. • The lifespan of CO alarms varies. CO alarms should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Alarm Tips: • Make sure that everyone in your family knows the difference between the sound of the CO and smoke alarms, and what number to call for a CO emergency. • If your CO alarm sounds, immediately move to fresh air outside. Alert others In the home to the danger and make sure everyone gets to fresh air safely. • Never ignore a sounding CO alarm. Source: 4 Januar y 2017 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

Braden Aukes

Braden was in first-grade when he submitted this safety poster. He is the son of Brian Aukes, Beaver Creek, Minn. He is a member of Sioux Valley Energy, Colman, S.D.

Kids, send your drawing with an electrical safety tip to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). If your poster is published, youʼll receive a prize. All entries must include your name, age, mailing address and the names of your parents. Colored drawings are encouraged.


Legislative Session

Connect with South Dakota Legislators




Super Soups Cheeseburger Soup 1/2 lb. ground beef 3/4 cup chopped onion 3/4 cup shredded carrots 3/4 cup diced celery 1 tsp. dried basil 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes 4 T. butter or margarine, divided 3 cups chicken broth

Cream of Crab Soup 3 cups diced, peeled potatoes 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups cubed processed American cheese 1-1/2 cups milk 3/4 tsp. salt 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper 1/4 cup sour cream

In a 3-quart saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, sauté onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 T. butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings Nancy Noess, Mitchell

Butternut Squash Bisque 1 T. canola oil 1 T. unsalted butter 1/2 cup diced onion 3/4 cup diced carrots 3 cups vegetable broth

4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional Ground nutmeg to taste

Heat oil and melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir onion until tender. Mix carrots and squash into pot. Pour in vegetable broth and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. In a blender or food processor, puree soup mixture until smooth. Return to pot; stir in heavy cream. Heat through but do not boil. Serve warm with a dash of nutmeg. Yield: 4 servings Debra Weaver, Box Elder

Super Easy Potato Soup 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into small pieces 1 can cream of chicken soup 32 oz. chicken broth

2 lb. hash browns 1/3 cup chopped onion Diced bacon or ham, as desired Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup) 1/3 cup flour 1 T. OLD BAY® Seasoning

1/2 tsp. McCormick® Parsley Flakes 4 cups milk or half-and-half 1 lb. lump crab meat 3 T. dry sherry

Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add flour, Old Bay and parsley; whisk until well blended. Whisking constantly, gradually add milk. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in crab meat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sherry. Heat 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay, if desired. Yield: 6 servings Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 285, Total Fat 14g, Cholesterol 119mg, Sodium 605mg, Carbohydrates 16g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 22g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

Mushroom Salsa Chili 1 lb. ground beef 1 lb. bulk pork sausage 2 (16 oz. each) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 (24 oz.) jar chunky salsa 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained 1 large onion, chopped 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (4 oz.) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained 1/2 cup each chopped green pepper, sweet red and yellow pepper 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 1/8 tsp. thyme 1/8 tsp. dried marjoram

Cook beef and sausage over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer meat to a 5-quart slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stephanie Fossum, Hudson

Santa Fe Cheese Soup 1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, 1 (4 oz.) can premium chuck drained white chicken, drained 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed 1 (4 oz.) can chopped green and drained chilies, if desired 1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth 1 lb. processed American cheese, 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and cubed green chilies, undrained

Mix together all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 7 hours. May add diced green or red peppers and carrots for color.

In a 3-quart saucepan or slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Garnish with crushed tortilla chips. If using a slow cooker, cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Note: May serve with a dollop of sour cream in each bowl.

Amy Schoenfelder, Cavour

Patricia Hopkins, Central City, NE

Please send your favorite brunch and seafood recipes to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). Each recipe printed will be entered into a drawing for a prize in June 2017. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name.


Co-op news

2016 Funds Presented

Operation Round-Up Operation Round-Up Funds were presented at Appreciation Days in Enning and Rapid City, at the Annual Meeting in Wall and at the Tailgate Party in Wall against New Underwood. The funds collected are used to address charitable community needs for organizations funding a special project. The Operation Round-Up Board of Directors met in August to determine how to distribute the voluntary contributions from our

members. West River Electric Members choosing to participate in this program helped local charities with contributions totaling, $9,800 for the past year. The average donation amounts to about $6 during the course of a year and is tax deductible. Operation Round-Up is voluntary! If you are not signed up already and wish to have your bill rounded to the next whole dollar you can contact either office at 393-1500 or 279-2135 or email your request to Applications for funds are available at or by calling us at 605-393-1500. The deadline for applications in 2017 will be July 7, 2017. 2413300

Alkali Community Hall - $500 to update the electrical service and add cove heat to the hall.

Rural Meade Ambulance Service - $2200 to purchase a portable automatic external defibrillator (AED).

Enning Community Library - $500 for the purchase of new books for the library.

Allied Arts Fund $500 to bring art to those in the community to attend performances.

Central Meade County Community Center - $500 to provide funds for general operating expenses and maintenance.

C.O.R.E./Freshman Impact - $600 to purchase vertex radio batteries and multi-bank chargers.

6 Ja nua r y 2 0 1 7


cooperative connections

Youth in Science Rapid City, Inc. $500 to assist with a conference to inspire young girls to pursue a degree in science, technology and engineering.

Creighton Community Hall - $500 to build a deck to meet ADA compliance.

Wall School Track Department - $500 to purchase the proper track equipment for the sport.

Youth & Family Services/Girls Incorporated - $500 to provide intensive health case management services for girls.

Western South Dakota Senior Services - $500 to provide meals to the elderly, homebound in the area

Feeding South Dakota - $500 to purchase food for the BackPack program.

South Dakota FFA Foundation - $500 to provide scholarships for the SD FFA Leadership Retreat.

Youth & Family Services/Fatherhood First - $500 to provide educational skill-building for fathers of children.

Chiesman Center for Democracy - $500 to assist with the Kids Voting program in the area.

Wall Youth Baseball - $500 to repair and replace outfield lighting and make fence repairs.

cooperative connections • J a n ua r y 2017 7

Resolution to Save Simple Steps to Saving on Your Energy Bill


Brenda Kleinjan

s the new year dawns, thousands of americans will make resolutions. Resolutions to lose weight. Resolutions to exercise more. Resolutions to save money. America’s Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives offer key tips for reducing energy costs – and many are low- to no-cost solutions. And, some are easy to implement – and stick with throughout the year. “In a home, heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) is the largest use of energy. Setting back your thermostat is the easiest and cheapest way to save energy,” said Chad Reisenauer, a certified energy manager at Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Bismarck, N.D.

Here’s the first 10 things to consider: 1. Replace any light bulb, especially ones that are on more than one hour per day, with a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb. Lighting ac-


counts for about 11 percent a typical home’s energy use, so savings here can add up. 2. Close shades and drapes during the day to help keep heat out in summer. Opening coverings on south-facing windows can allow for radiant heat to enter during winter months. Heating and cooling accounts for the largest use of energy in a home. 3. Plug electronic devices such as cable boxes, printers and TVs into power strips to turn off during vacations or long periods without use. Depending on your family, electronics can account for 8 percent to 15 percent of a home’s electric bill. 4. Outside your home, caulk around all penetrations including telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water spigots, dryer vents, etc. Take the caulk gun inside, too. Caulking along baseboards with a clear sealant is recommended as

is caulking around plumbing penetrations that come WHERE DOES YOUR ENERGY GO? through walls Here are the top ten tips that any good energy saver should do first. beteneath sinks. 1. Replace any light bulb, especially ones that are on more than one hour per day, with a REFRIGERATION 5. Change light-emitting diode (LED) bulb. HVAC air filters 2. Close shades and drapes during the day to help keep heat out in summer. monthly. Make 3. Plug electronic devices such as cable boxes, printers and TVs into power strips to turn off sure when changHEATING & COOLING MISCELLANEOUS 8% during vacations or long periods without use. As the owners of iconic Wall Drug in Wall, S.D., ing the filters they 8% 4. Outside your home, caulk around all penetrations including telephone, electrical, cable, prepared to celebrate their 85th year of operation, they are facing the gas, water spigots, dryer vents, etc. APPLIANCES turned to their local Touchstone Energy Cooperative, correct direction. 9% 5. Change HVAC air filters monthly. 43% West River Electric Association, for an energy audit and a (Look for the ar6. Use dishwasher’s cycle to dry dishes. prescription to use electricity more wisely. row on theair-dry sidecycleofinstead of the heat-dry 9% ELECTRONICS In January 2016, the filter.) 7. Keep your garage door down. A warmer garage in the winter and cooler garage in thean energy audit of the facility summer will save energy. was conducted. The sprawling complex which includes 6. Use the 11% 8. Set water heater temperature no higher than 120 F. street-level stores that are open to the public, also the dishwasher’s 12% includes thousands of square feet of behind-the-scenes air-dry cycle 9. Make sure dryer vent hose is not kinked or clogged. LIGHTING storage and offices that extend below and above the instead of the 10. Ensure refrigerator door seals are tight. millions of visitors. heat-dry cycle to WATER HEATING The audit accounted for the 5,400 light bulbs and dry dishes. The more than 3,100 light fixtures throughout the attraction. kitchen can acHome energy use is different for everyone and hinges on several factors, including size of home, members in your household, your location and preferences. Knowing how your energy It also looked at heating and cooling expenses associated count for 15 perspend is divided will help you prioritize your energy saving habits. with the facility as well as the efficiency of appliances and cent to 20 percent Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. other electronics. of your home’s When all was said and done, the recommendations energy use. 101ENERGY WAYS TO SAVE TOUCHSTONE | 101 WAYS TO SAVE 2 TOUCHSTONEENERGY.COM 3 included some basic steps that are applicable in both 7. Keep your garage door down. A warmer garage in the winter homes and businesses. and cooler garage in the summer will save energy. The Hustead family – which owns Wall Drug – had 8. Set water heater temperature no higher than 120° F. Water already started converting much of the property to LED heating can account for 12 percent of a home’s energy use. For smaller lighting. But, an households of one or two members, the temperature can be important step turned down to 115° F. behind-the-scenes 9. Make sure dryer vent hose is not kinked or had the potential clogged. Also be sure to clean the dryer’s lint trap before each to really add up in use and ensure that the dryer’s outdoor exhaust door is not savings. blocked or clogged. The audit 10. Ensure refrigerator door seals are tight. Set the recommended refrigerator temperature to 34° F. to 37° F. and the freezer teminstalling occupancy perature to between 0° F. and 5° F. sensors – devices “Most of these are low-cost/no-cost measures,” said Alan that sense when Shedd, a professional engineer and certified energy manager people enter and who is the director of energy solutions for the Touchstone Enexit a room and ergy® Cooperatives brand. “While you can save more by sealing adjust the lighting ductwork and air-sealing your house to reduce leaks, we don’t accordingly – was a major step in reducing costs. want to discourage people from doing the simple things first.” Another major recommendation was that exterior “Check out the newly re-designed TogetherWeSave page on Touchdoors be kept closed during summer months to keep We’ve added an energy saving tips section that includes cooler air inside the building. a Top-10 list. For a direct link use On one meter alone (the attraction has several energy-money-saving-tips/more-tips/ and click on the “Top 10.”” meters), energy consumption was significantly reduced by Inset above: Chad Reisenauer, a certified energy manager with Basin Electric Power Cooptaking the recommended steps. erative in Bismarck, N.D., takes measurements using a light meter at Wall Drug in Wall, Find out more about energy-saving steps you can S.D., as West River Electric Association’s Veronica Kusser records the results. Another take by contacting the energy experts at your electric WREA team was counting each of the attraction’s thousands of light bulbs as part of an cooperative. energy audit to determine where energy savings could be found in the 85-year old tourist



Energy Savings Prescription Pays Off at Wall Drug




What was Along Highway 24

Enning, South Dakota A

nother trip down memory lane, this time I was off to Enning, SD. I met Neomi Richter at Nellie’s, the new store in Enning. What a great change to the community. Not that there was anything wrong with the old store, it was just hard to do the upkeep. And as Neomi shared with me, if walls could talk, I would still be there listening. Anna Enning came to the area in around 1909 and married Ted Outka in 1910, together they homesteaded 3 miles south of Enning. Anna owned the land that the school was built on, so they called it the Enning School. There was a man by the name

Editor’s Note: Enning plays an important part in the history of West River Electric as well as for our members in this area.

By Veronica Kusser

10 Januar y 2 0 1 7

of Mr. Finnley who started the store, and he said name the store the same, this is the Enning School District so make it the Enning Store. A lady by the name of Mrs. Brooks started the post office, and it was in a building just east of the Store. So as it goes, Enning was founded in 1924 when Highway 24 came thru the area. Mr. Finnley also had the Creamery at the East end of the store where cream was brought to every day. There was a stage line that would go from Wasta to Dalzel and then to White Owl, coming up one day and back the next. Mail came up twice a week from Wasta to Boneita on to Haydraw and up to Enning.

cooperative connections

There were several owners of the Enning Store over the years until Karl Richter bought it from Marge Pellegrin in 1968. Neomi served as Postmaster and Karl was the man behind the counter at the store until 2012 when they sold it to the current owner, Caren Assman. It has always been a popular stop in the summer time for travelers going down Highway 34. You notice it started out as Hwy 24, and in or around 1960 it was changed to Hwy 34 which runs the entire length of South Dakota. Hwy 34 became very popular in the early days when the Minuteman Missiles were being constructed

starting in 1963. That is when the Pellegrins added the bar to the Enning Store, and traffic got heavier along Hwy 34.

Along with the Enning School and Store, back in the early days, there were 2 garages, a dance hall, a creamery, Blacksmith Shop, Bulk Oil, Pioneer Petroleum, West River Electric and Goldenwest. C.J. Blotz had the Enning Sinclair and Arden Maude had the Enning Propane. Life was good, the people of the community stopped in at the store to catch up on the news of the community and get the mail and supplies needed. Caren Assman continued to operate out of the old store from 2012 until this past October when Nellie’s opened, a new facility which carries all the necessities to get by. With it being 50 miles from a big box store, she carries the most essential items. You can stop in for a sandwich or a cold beer and pick up a gallon of milk before heading home. Caren brought over some of the fixtures and has made it feel like home to the locals.

She continues to house the Enning Post Office with the same old mail boxes in the new store where Dusty Hall fills the boxes with mail, which is delivered daily now. Next to the store is the Rural Meade Ambulance which serves the people of that community with volunteers, without them it would be a good long while for help to arrive in the

event of an emergency in this remote area of South Dakota. Just down the road is the Goldenwest shop which allows that area to have a little quicker restoration of telephone and internet services. Across the road and to the west is the school which has an enrollment of 42 students, wow! Who says the young people are leaving the rural areas? They have classes there for Kindergarten thru the 3rd grade and then the students attend the Union Center School thru the 8th grade. Then off to High School. There are several to choose from, Faith, Sturgis, Wall or New Underwood, all of them are a distance from Enning, some choose to travel and stay at home, some choose to have a second home in town for the school year. In 1962 plans were made by West River Electric to improve the reliability in the northern part of West River Electric Service area. Contracts were let for the construction of a substation in the Enning area and the necessary transmission line to serve it. Land was purchased and a home was constructed for the establishment of an outpost crew to better serve, not only the members of Enning, but Union Center, Plainview, Howes and the outlying communities in the area. Goldenwest, along with West River Electric, built out posts to increase the reliability of both the electric and telephone service to the area. They were managed by one manager and operated out of the same building up until 1964. Thank you Neomi for taking time to visit and share with me the memories and information from your years at the store.

cooperative connections • J a n ua r y 2017 11

Illuminating Choices

Watts, Lumens, Kelvin Can Be Confusing When Buying Bulbs


one are the days when grabbing a lightbulb

By B. Denise Hawkins

at the hardware store was as simple as knowing whether you were in search of a 40-watt, 60-watt or a 100-watt bulb. Today, a trek down the lighting aisle can be confusing and at times intimidating as one wades through the packaging. If you have been gradually making the switch to the new energy efficient lighting choices, you’ve noticed that more changes have come to the light bulb aisle. Remember when the odd looking corkscrew compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb was introduced to consumers a few years ago? It’s still there and so are most of the classic pear-shaped incandescent bulbs. But today’s lighting choices have expanded and gotten serious makeovers – their packaging labels and lingo included. There are LEDs, CFLs, halogen, lumens, CRI and more, and there is a host of lighting brands. But in recent years, the focus has been on making all bulbs more energy efficient and cost effective.

End of an Era We’ve basked in the golden glow of Thomas Edison’s incandescent bulb since the 1800s, but January 2014 marked the end of its run. That’s when the federal government finalized its mandated phase out of selected general-purpose light bulbs and Edison’s less energy efficient incandescent ones. While you still may find 100- and 75-watt bulbs on store shelves, manufacturers in the U.S. stopped producing them. The old 40- and 60-watt bulbs, which represented over half the market, are following suit. What brought about the lighting change? In 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy estimated that home and commercial lighting was consuming more electricity annually – about 300 billion kilowatt-hours of lighting or the equivalent of about 100 power plants – but most of it was wasted. Oldfashioned incandescent bulbs used plenty of energy to produce only 10 percent light, with 90 percent of the energy given off as heat. In comparison, today’s more energy-saving incandescent light bulbs use 25 percent less energy to do the job of lighting the same spaces in your home. Look on the Bright Side Prime replacements for the traditional incandescent light bulb are the higher-efficiency CFL 12 January 2017 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

and LED or light emitting diode bulbs. But be prepared to pay more upfront for some of the bulbs you choose. Lighting experts say that LEDs are the best choice for energy efficiency and if price is not a concern – they can last for up to two decades, save you 75 percent or more in energy costs, and offer superior color and brightness. However, they can cost an estimated $10 to $60 per bulb. The Energy Department assures consumers that there is a bright side – lower electricity bills over the longer term. These are their estimates: using a traditional incandescent bulb adds about $4.80 per year to the average household electric bill, but a CFL bulb adds just $1.20 a year and an LED about $1 per year. That means that a typical household could potentially save about $50 per year by replacing 15 old incandescent bulbs.

Lighting the Way Since lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of the average home’s electricity use, don’t stay in the dark when shopping for new bulbs that save on energy and your electric bill. Things to know before you go: Lumens are the new watts. It’s all about the lumens or the amount of light a light bulb emits. Remember this formula: The higher the lumens, the brighter the light – to replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that offers about 1,600 lumens. There are handy charts at www.energystar. gov/ that help you compare the old measure of watts to lumens. Three-steps to your new bulbs. STEP 1: Choose the amount of lumens you need based on how bright you want a room; STEP 2: Determine which bulb has the lowest estimated energy cost per year. This will save you the most money; and STEP 3: Choose bulbs based on your needs – how long it will last and light appearance. Read the label. Always check the package, making sure that it carries the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR® logo. New Lighting Facts labels on boxes will also help consumers understand what they are purchasing – amount of lumens, estimated annual operating cost and light color.




Scholarships Available Deadline February 3, 2017

For the 26th Year, West River Electric is offering college scholarships to high school seniors’ graduating in May of 2017 as well as students currently in postsecondary education. This year we will once again be offering five scholarships: a $1,000 scholarship, provided by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, our power generation cooperative, and four WREA $500 scholarships, to be awarded to winners in April. Applicants for the scholarships must be a member or dependent child of a West River Electric member and a U.S. citizen. They must be planning to enroll or in attendance in a full-time graduate or undergraduate course of study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school. Scholarship recipients will be chosen by a selection committee on the basis of academic record, potential to succeed, leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, a statement of education and career goals, a written essay and an outside appraisal. Applications may be picked up at the cooperative offices, on-line at or at area high schools. 2243700 Completed applications and supporting documentation must be returned to West River Electric Association in Rapid City or Wall before 5 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2017. Winners will be announced in April. For more information or to requests an application go to our website at, stop by or call us at 393-1500 or 279-2135. Applications are also available at the local high school.

High School Juniors

Are you interested in going to D.C.? June 8-15, 2017 more than 1500 students will travel to Washington DC to participate in the Rural Electric Youth Tour. During this action-filled week, students learn what it is like to be involved in politics, community service, cooperative philosophy and rural electrification. You will have the opportunity to meet with your elected representative in the US House and Senate and discuss the process of government and the issues that we face today, while increasing your knowledge about the electric cooperative utilities. 10543600 The student will be selected and sponsored by West River Electric while South Dakota Rural Electric Association (SDREA) coordinates arrangements for all South Dakota students. Among the sites that are toured are the National Cathedral, The White House, Washington Monument, U.S. Supreme Court, US Capitol, Ford’s Theatre, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The Smithsonian, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. All area high school juniors whose parents or guardians are a member of WREA are eligible to apply for the Youth Tour. The funding of the tour is provided by WREA, which includes the student’s transportation, room and board, and sight-seeing events. Students will be required to provide their own personal spending money. Each student is required to submit an essay, not to exceed 500 words on “What does my electric coop mean to me and my family?” All essays must be typed and include a cover sheet to include the students name, parents name, address, phone number and school they attend. All essays must be received by West River Electric before February 15, 2017. If you have questions please contact Veronica Kusser at 605-393-1500.

14 Ja n uar y 2 0 1 7

cooperative connections

Sign Up Fill out and send to: West River Electric Assoc. Cooperative Connections, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709 or drop it in with your payment.

Happy Holidays from tHe Board of directors & employees of West river electric

Sign up for:

operation Roundup Budget Billing Pay By Bank Automatic Credit Card Payment I am interested in more information on: Marathon Water Heater Radiant Cove Heat Generlink Special Electric Heat Rate Geothermal & Air-to-Air Heat Pumps Rebates Radiant Floor Heating Demand Response Unit

West river electric Will Be closed for tHe folloWing

decemBer 26, 2016 in oBservance of cHristmas January 2, 2017 in oBservance neW years if you Have an emergency or an outage please call 393-1500 or 279-2135 to report tHe event to of

our ansWering service

stats October 2015 Number of Meters: 16,510 KWH 18,692,248 October 2016 Number of Meters: 16,795 KWH 18,635,216

Be sure to include your name and address if you mail this coupon or E mail: veronica.kusser@westriver. coop

west river electric office hours rapid city office 3250 e. hwy 44, rapid city, sd monday-friday 7:00 am to 5:00 pm 605-393-1500 wall office 1200 w. 4th ave, wall, sd monday-friday 7:00 am to 5:00 pm 605-279-2135

enerGY tip



According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average household owns 24 consumer electronics products, which are responsible for 12 percent of household electricity use. ENERGY STAR-certified audio/ video equipment is up to 50 percent more efficient than conventional models.

A night depository is available at both offices for your convenience. Service & Billing Questions: Contact 605-279-2135 or 605393-1500 during office hours. You can e-mail us at on questions concerning your account. After Hours Power Restoration: Contact 605-279-2135 in the Wall or Enning areas and 605-393-1500 in the Rapid City area.

Locate Your Account Number If you locate your account number

anywhere in this issue of the Cooperative Connections you will be a winner. There will be five account numbers placed randomly throughout the Connections. If you spot your account number and notify our office before the 10th of next month, you will receive a $10.00 credit on your next bill.

(USPS No. 675-840)

Our Mission

To inform you about your cooperative and its efforts to serve your energy needs; about how to use electricity safely and efficiently; and about the people who define and enhance the quality of life in communities served by electric co-ops. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer

President Andy Moon, Creighton, S.D. Vice President Stan Anders, Union Center, S.D. Secretary Jamie Lewis, Rapid City, S.D. Treasurer Larry Eisenbraun, Wall, S.D. Directors Howard Knuppe, New Underwood, S.D. Chuck Sloan, Piedmont, S.D. Marcia Arneson, Rapid City, S.D. Jerry Hammerquist, Caputa, S.D. Terry Peters, Wall, S.D. CEO/General Manager Dick Johnson Editor Veronica Kusser West River Electric Cooperative Connections is the monthly publication for the members of West River Electric Association. Members subscribe to Cooperative Connections as part of their electric cooperative membership for $6.00 a year. West River Electric Cooperative Connections purpose is to provide reliable, helpful information to electric cooperative members on matters pertaining to rural electrification and better living. Nonmember subscriptions are available for $12.00 per year. Periodicals Postageaid at Wall, S.D., and at additional mailing offices. PoSTMASTER: Send address changes to West River Electric Cooperative Connections, Po Box 412, Wall, SD 57790-0412. other correspondence to: West River Electric Cooperative Connections, Po Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709; telephone (605)393-1500, Exts. 6519, 6517, 6531 or 6522; fax (605)393-0275; e-mail veronica.kusser@westriver. coop.

Call before you dig: All underground cable location requests for the entire state of South Dakota are made through the South Dakota One-Call System. The number is toll free, 1-800781-7474 (dial 811 instate). You are required to provide this one-call center with information regarding the location where you will be digging, along with a description of the type of work you will be doing. You are required to give at least a 48-hour notice before you dig. The one-call center will then notify all utilities with underground facilities in the area where you will be digging.

cooperative connections • J a n ua r y 2017 15

Regional Dateline December 31 Downtown Countdown, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979

January 6 Lights on the Ice Teen Night Main Street Square Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979 January 11 West River Electric Blood Drive Rapid Valley Office Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1500 January 13-February 4 Firehouse Theatre presents Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Firehouse Theatre Rapid City, SD, 605-348-1915 January 14 West River Basketball Tournament, Barnett Arena Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 January 14 Heroes Skate Day, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979 January 21 Skates & a Movie featuring Alice in Wonderland, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979 January 27-February 4 Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo, Rushmore Plaza Civic

November 18-January 8 Winter Wonderland, Falls Park Sioux Falls, SD, 605-275-6060


January 2 West River Electric will be closed for New Year’s, in case of an emergency call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135

Events of Special Note

December 26 West River Electric will be closed for Christmas, in case of an emergency call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135

To have your event listed on this page, send complete information, including date, event, place and contact to your local electric cooperative. Include your name, address and daytime telephone number. Information must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to your event. Please call ahead to confirm date, time and location of event.

Center, Rapid City, SD February 2-4 SD State High School One-Act Play Festival, Aberdeen, SD February 10-11 SD State High School Gymnastics Meet, Aberdeen, SD February 10-12 35th Annual Black Hills Sport Show & Outdoor Expo Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 February 17-March 18 Firehouse Theatre presents I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Firehouse Theatre Rapid City, SD, 605-348-1915 February 20 RCCA/Shades of Buble, Rapid City Concert Association, Fine Arts Theatre, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

February 24-25 SD State High School Wrestling Tournaments, Sioux Falls, SD February 24-26 West River Singles Pool Tournament, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115 March 3-4 SD State High School Debate & IE Tournament, Mitchell, SD March 3-5 West River Team Pool Tournament, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115 March 7-8 Saturday Night Fever The Musical, Fine Arts Theatre Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 March 8-12 SD State Pool Tournament

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 March 9 Jay Leno, Barnett Arena Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 March 11-12 2017 Gun Show, American Legion Hall, Philip, SD 65-859-2280 or 605-859-2219 March 18-19 Black Hills Motorcycle Show Rushmore Hall, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 March 24-26 BH Home Builders Home Show Rushmore Plaza Civic Center March 25-26 SD State AAU Wrestling Tournament, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

Wrea jan2017  

PDF Version of the January 2017 Cooperative Connections